Former US Fireman Has Had the ‘Most Extensive’ Face Transplant Ever

A firefighter whose face was burned off while trying to rescue someone has been given a new face.

Patrick Hardison, 41, was badly injured when the roof of the burning building collapsed on top of him in 2001 and he lost his eyelids, ears, lips, most of his nose, hair and eyebrows.

He hasn't been able to close his eyes completely since the accident due to his eyelids being destroyed.

After more than a year waiting for someone with the right blood type as well as fair skin and light hair, he finally found a donor in 26-year-old David Rodebaugh, a bike mechanic who died in a cycling accident this summer.

More than 100 doctors, nurses, technical and support staff took part in the 26-hour operation, which took place in mid-August at the NYU Langone Medical Center after a year of preparation.

Patrick has been given a new face, scalp, ear canals and selected portions of bone from the chin, cheeks, and nose. He also has new eyelids and muscles that control blinking, meaning he is now able to close his eyes.

The same hospital carried out the world’s first full face transplant in 2010 on a man who suffered an accident that left him without a nose and deformed his jaw and cheekbones.

The first face partial transplant was carried out by doctors in France in 2005 on a woman who had been mauled by her dog.